In the Gilmore Girls episode where Rory and Logan steal a yacht, our wayward protagonist quotes Moby Dick and the lengths you must pursue when you feel like knocking other people’s hats off. In these moments, both Ishmael and Rory must take to the sea, and, though I know that feeling well, whenever my mouth grows grim and I start mistaking chapeaus for bullseyes, I’d rather take to the kitchen instead.
(Of course I also take to the kitchen when I’m elated, hungry, or sad, or feel like wearing a hat of my own. It’s kind of a knee-jerk reaction here.)
My distraction of choice is usually cookies because they are aptly sized for shoving into my pie hole (I guess mine is more of a cookie hole. What would you call your hole, dear reader? I implore you not to tell me in the comments section because this is getting weird).
I first made these almond cookies as an homage to my favorite Chinese bakery in Honolulu, Sing Cheon Yuan. Almond cookies are a Chinese bakery staple: amidst the myriad dumplings, manapua, and hot dog wieners wrapped in croissant pastry (seriously) lining the display case, you’ll find these goldenly crisp butter cookies garnished with a single slivered almond.
My interpretation is decidedly less dry as I can’t leave well enough alone if the “well enough” in question involves butter. The end result is a butyraceous cookie that will have you revisiting your strict “no more than ten cookies a day” policy. Or is that not a goal other people set for themselves?
But don’t tell the aunties at Sing Cheong Yuan where you got the recipe. I’m afraid they might knock my hat off or literally actually kill me.
After all, all’s fair in love and cookies . . . yeah, that old chestnut.
- 2 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¾ cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ tablespoon almond extract
- ½ cup slivered almonds, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together both sugars and melted butter until well incorporated, at least 3 minutes.
- With the mixer, running and 1 egg and mix until blended. Repeat with 1 egg yolk and ½ tablespoon almond extract. Slowly add flour mixture and mix until just combined. If dough is too soft, chill for at least ½ an hour before proceeding to next step.
- On parchment-lined baking sheets, drop dough by the tablespoon. Press an almond sliver into the middle of each cookie. Bake in the oven until lightly golden, 10-15 minutes